This is what it's like to be in a polyamorous family

Shutterstock / Victoria 1

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in a polyamorous relationship, where people have multiple partners, Quora user Nora Rivkis can help answer some questions.

The short version is, she is a polyamorous lesbian married to a man, and it's:

Almost exactly like any other family but with more grownups in the house.

And the longer version, is:

99% of the time, a poly family operates exactly the way a monogamous family does; it just takes a little more coordinating to make sure everyone gets the memo about what everyone else is doing.

Rivkis explains what it was like in her first poly household:

That group had an arrangement where every adult had their own room, separately. Not everyone slept in their own room every night, obviously; but it meant that we each had complete control over whom we invited to our bed on any given occasion, or if we wanted to sleep alone that night. If someone else invited us, we could go, or decline, or accept and also suggest that we invite one or more of the others along too.

She explained that day-to-day living was actually quite normal.

Most of the time, it wasn't as exciting as that makes it sound, because no marriage is all that exciting every minute. Instead, we did our jobs, made dinner, did the laundry, took care of the kids, played games, made music, tossed bad puns around at each other, watched movies while cuddled on the couch, mowed the lawn, worried over the bills and the doctor's appointments and the termites in the deck, bragged about the children, and generally did the things families do.

And now?

That marriage broke up, largely due to the abusive tendencies of two members. One of the others and I have since married legally, and now live with two other adults in a group family that works along similar lines.

She also says, a problem with polyamorous relationships is finding multiple people that are compatible:

Which illustrates one way in which poly families are a bit harder to make work than monogamous families: You have to find a bunch of good people who are compatible with each other, not just one. But if you find them — and you are the sort of person who doesn't get upset over what your partner(s) is doing with other people as long as they also love you and are doing it with you — it can be utterly wonderful.

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